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Wednesday, 2 January, 2002, 16:28 GMT
Stoke snap up Oulare
Guinea striker Souleymane Oulare
Oulare (right) hopes to revive his flagging career
Stoke have signed Guinea striker Souleymane Oulare on an 18-month contract.

Oulare has been one of Africa's most successful strikers in Europe in recent years.

But the 28-year-old's career has dipped dramatically, prompting him to accept Stoke's offer.

Oulare reminds me a lot of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Stoke manager Gudjon Thordarson

Despite his indifferent form, manager Gudjon Thordarson is confident that Oulare will help second-placed Stoke to gain promotion.

"He has proven himself as a goal-scorer wherever he has played and he is definitely physical enough to look after himself in English football," said Thordarson.

"I'm not worried that he won't be able to look after himself in the Second Division.

"All he needs to do is to just get used to the game here, as soon as he is then he will start scoring goals for me.

"He reminds me a lot of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - he's that type. Hopefully he can be our Hasselbaink."

Oulare experienced great success with Belgian club Genk, where he won the Belgian cup in 1998 and the league title in 1999, when he was also crowned Belgium's Player of the Year award.

In 2000 he moved to Turkish giants Fenerbahce for 3m.

But he was stuck down by injury, and despite scoring five goals in 11 appearances, fell out of favour.

Last year Fenerbahce loaned him to Las Palmas in Spain, for whom he scored only four goals in 17 games.

On his return to Fenerbahce, Oulare was left out of the first-team squad, and has turned to the offer from Stoke as a lifeline.

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